With a track title like 'Worldwide Catastrophe', you would be forgiven for thinking the song was about COVID-19. And though Royals latest contribution to the pop-punk essential playlist is not specifically about the current pandemic, its positive message of hope amidst a broken world is profoundly relevant.
'Worldwide Catastrophe' is the newest edition to an already stellar catalogue of music and the first record released since the band's formation to a five-piece operation. With lockdown restrictions putting a pause on their initial 2020 plans, it opened an opportunity for frontman Luke to record and produce the song in-house. Having had recent singles 'Out Of Reach' and 'Fair-Weather Friend' recorded with Neck Deep's Seb Barlow, Guitarist Will notes that "we had a standard of the first two with Seb that gave us a target to aim for". Early reports indicate they have not just hit but surpassed that target. Feedback has been incredibly positive with the single premiered by Alex Baker on Kerang! Radio.
Forming in 2019, the band have developed into a mix of local artists and musicians found on 'Join My Band' to create a group really hitting their stride. In 2020 they were named one of the 'Top 10 Rising UK Pop Punk Bands' by Alt Press and landed on multiple Spotify editorial playlists including 'Pop Punks Not Dead' and 'New Punk Tracks'.
The band certainly fit their designated description of "putting the "pop" into pop-punk". Vocalist Luke further elaborates on their sound likening it to "All Time Low and Neck Deep", incorporating the key elements of pop-punk with "heavy distorted guitars and aggressive drums with pop melodies". Their skill in creating these pop melodies gives their tracks great replayability and Luke is clear with that intention: "it has to be catchy, it has to have a good hook".
2021 will see Royals return to their intended plans for 2020. Will states: "our plans are going ahead as they were; it's just had a massive six-month gap in between". The hope is that this year will signal a return to touring and playing shows but the band concede that "it's difficult to set goals with everything is so uncertain at the moment". With the newfound ability to record and produce tracks in-house, the group plan to get to a place where they can be "releasing new music every six to eight weeks".
With a sound that you would describe to your mum as "Blink 182 meeting modern pop", Royals are courageously engaging in weighty themes bringing much-needed honesty and positivity. 'Worldwide Catastrophe' is a perfect example of this. It speaks to the brokenness we see in our world, of diseases that cannot simply be vaccinated away; but vocalises the hope that we can be the ones that bring about change in the world. This chorus lyric perfectly encapsulates this:
"There's got to be a better way
than just to watch the world
go down in flames.
We could be the tidal wave."
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Words: Ryan Galpin